Raymond Roland (Smitty) Smith, 89 of Leominster, peacefully passed away on November 20, 2021 in the home he has lived in for the past 65 years.
Ray was born on November 5, 1932, the only son of Raymond E. and Estelle (Blanchard) Smith, and lived in Leominster most of his life. He attended St. Bernard’s Grammar School (the old boys’ school on First Street in Fitchburg) and then St. Bernard’s High School where he graduated President of his Class of 1951. It was also there that he met his future wife, the love of his life, Queenie.
After graduating high school, Ray enlisted in the United States Navy. Upon graduating from boot camp, he was assigned to DD-862, the USS Vogelgesang, a Gearing Class Destroyer. In 1953, he and Queenie married and started their family. He also started his Printing career at the old Boutwell Owens Printing Company in Leominster, where he was their lead pressman for over 20 years. In 1970, Ray returned to school and earned his Massachusetts Teaching Certificate, and in January of 1972 began his 23-year teaching career in the Graphic Arts Department at the newly opened Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, retiring in 1995.
In the early 1970’s, Ray helped build the Leominster Pop Warner Football Field on Litchfield Street and also coached the team his son Paul played for, the Dolphins. He could also be seen for many years on the sidelines at every Blue Devils home football game, as part of the “Chain Gang” with Bob Bissonnette and Bob Cross.
Ray leaves his wife Bernice (Queenie) Ricci Smith who celebrated their 68th Wedding Anniversary on November 14th. He leaves behind 3 children, Michael and his fiancé Joyce Gulliver of Leominster, Paul of Leominster and his companion Sallie Wheeler of Princeton, and Tina Barassi of Brookline, NH. He also leaves two grandchildren, 2nd Lt. Mario Barassi of Ft. Rucker, Alabama and Sofia Barassi of Brookline, NH, one step granddaughter, Jillian Vadiz and her husband Justo of Fitchburg, and 3 step great-grandchildren, Jayden, Janelli, and Jianna Vadiz. He also leaves two sisters, Joan Dickinson of Leominster and Sandra Roy of The Villages, Florida and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Raymond E. and Estelle and one sister, Cecile Senn.
The family would like to thank Joe from JK Sunshine Home Care Services and his angels, Shama and Lisa for their loving care. They would also like to thank Beacon Hospice staff, especially Nurse Karen and Chaplain Bobby.
Ray's funeral will be held on Saturday, November 27, 2021 from the Richardson Funeral Home,106 West St. Leominster, with a funeral mass at 10am in St. Leos Church, 128 Main St. Leominster. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Leos Cemetery, Leominster. Calling hours in the funeral home are Friday, November 26, 2021 from 5 ~ 7pm. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to St. Leo’s Church, 108 Main Street in Leominster.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Raymond R. Smith, please visit our floral store.